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St. Modwen, the UK’s leading regeneration specialist, has completed the sale of the latest phase of its £10 million leisure development at Widnes Waterfront, to Whitbread.

The hospitality group has acquired a 1.47 acre site, on which they will build a 60-bed hotel and 7,500 sq ft adjoining restaurant at The Hive for £975,000. The four-storey hotel is set to become a Premier Inn and will be adjoined by a Brewers Fayre restaurant. It will be one of Premier Inn’s latest, modern designs.

St Modwen is developing The Hive in partnership with Halton Borough Council. The scheme is on track to open in October 2011 and is 95 per cent pre-let, with just one remaining restaurant unit under offer.

The Hive has attracted a Reel Cinemas multiplex, a 36,000 sq ft ice rink operated by Planet Ice, a Frankie and Benny’s restaurant and Widnes Superbowl – a complex which will house a bowling alley, indoor soft play area, a laser quest and a Costa Coffee franchise. The bowling alley has already been handed over to the operator for the internal fit-out to commence.

Michelle Taylor, regional director at St. Modwen, said: “This sale is yet another vote of confidence from a quality operator, in a scheme which has been highly successful to date. The Hive will deliver new leisure facilities for the residents of Halton and, through the Ice Rink, is set to draw in trade from the surrounding region.”